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How Disgruntled Employees Can Affect a Small Business in Massachusetts
Employment is a hallmark of adulthood. In fact, over 3.3 billion adults around the world are employed. That’s almost half of the global population.
Since employment is so important for our livelihood, we should enjoy it. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many of us.
Approximately half of the global workforce reports being unhappy at their jobs. That’s 1 billion disgruntled workers around the world or 1.3 times the population of China and 5.2 times the population of the United States.
Why are Employees So Unhappy With Their Jobs?
Most employees cite one or more of the following reasons for being disgruntled at work:
- An unfavorable work-life balance
- Unhappy with management
- Feeling undervalued
- An adverse job decision
In addition, because today’s work environment can be so volatile and competitive, employees can become anxious in times of uncertainty.
The result is that some employees will become testy, spread rumors, and/or complain about things in a way that demotivates other employees.
The Cost of Disgruntled Employees
Disgruntled employees can be toxic to your small business and cause good employees to:
- Quit their jobs;
- Do less work; and
- Feel more stress on the job.
Research has shown that working with a toxic co-worker makes an employee 54% more likely to leave their job. So, it should come as no surprise that with all of these disgruntled employees around the world, the global employee turnover rate is 28%. In the United States alone, the retail industry has an employee turnover rate of 74%.
High turnover costs can get expensive. On average, high turnover costs an organization 16 – 21% of an employee’s annual salary. One toxic employee can increase your business’s turnover costs by as much as $12,800.
Dealing With Disgruntled Employees
While different businesses in different industries tend to face different types of challenges, one challenge that remains constant across the board is disgruntled employees and how to deal with them.
Disgruntled employees are a drain on your business and can become serious legal, financial, and security threats to your business. It is, therefore, vital that you deal with them in a way that will not negatively affect your business and/or the rest of your workforce.
The simple answer to dealing with disgruntled employees is to let them go. But, like most issues in life, the simple answer is usually easier said than done.
A Few Tips For Dealing With Disgruntled Employees in Massachusetts
Sooner or later every employer will have to confront a disgruntled employee. Whether you are disciplining them, terminating them, or just counseling them on their performance or behavior.
In these circumstances, it is not uncommon for an employee to react to the delivery of criticism with anger. Here are five tips you can use to diffuse the situation before it becomes a crisis:
Stay Calm – Don’t fight fire with fire. Just stick to the facts and be objective. Although you may be angry as well, don’t let your emotions enter the conversation. Also, don’t wing it. Go over what you plan to say to the person before you meet with them. Make sure you say what needs to be said but don’t let the conversation devolve into a he-said-she-said discussion.
Allow the Employee to Talk – Give the employee the chance to tell his or her side of the story. This doesn’t mean you need to rehash everything. But, giving the employee a chance to air his or her feelings can effectively diffuse the situation.
Be Respectful – Remember that this is your employee. Speaking down to them will only belittle the employee and make them more angry and defensive.
Watch Your Non-verbal Signs – Make sure your body language is not confrontational. For instance, don’t point your finger at the employee, cross your arms, or roll your eyes. Keep both your verbal and non-verbal language professional.
Remain in Control of the Discussion – If the conversation relates to a termination or disciplinary action, make it clear that your decision is final. If the employee refuses to listen or starts shouting, end the meeting.
Consult with an Experienced Massachusetts Employment Lawyer
Dealing with disgruntled employees remains one of the greatest challenges faced by employers and managers. And making the right choices is important for your business’s future.
Not only can how you deal with a disgruntled employee have legal and financial consequences for your small business, it can also result in serious security concerns for your business and its employees.
For advice on how best to deal with disgruntled employees and how to mitigate legal, financial, and security risks when doing so, call The Law Offices of Richard Mucci at 781-729-3999 to arrange a consultation with an experienced Massachusetts Employment Lawyer.